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ActiveStor 16 & 18

Panasas® ActiveStor® is an advanced hybrid scale-out NAS solution designed to maximize mixed workload performance in technical computing environments. While ActiveStor has always been valued for its high throughput capability, ActiveStor also delivers strong small file and metadata performance by leveraging high capacity hard drives and Solid State Drives (SSDs) in the same system. Based on a fifth-generation storage blade architecture and the Panasas PanFS® storage operating system, and DirectFlow® for performance acceleration, ActiveStor greatly reduces time-to-results for technical and enterprise workflows while delivering the easy management and robust reliability demanded by industry and research organizations in the energy, government, life sciences, manufacturing, and media & entertainment markets.

Enterprise Hard Disk/Hybrid Storage Systems: “2015 Products of the Year” - Finalist Storage Magazine
Enterprise Hard Disk/Hybrid Storage Systems: “2015 Products of the Year” - Finalist Storage Magazine


New With ActiveStor 18

ActiveStor 18 delivers greater density, linear scalability,and performance. This results in:

  • 33% higher density
  • More than 20PB capacity
  • 200GB/sec with linear scalability
  • Choice of 4TB or HGST He8 Helium-filled 8TB drives
  • 19% faster CPU
  • 2x Cache

This results in linear scalability with 66% greater capacity. Mixed file workloads are accelerated ever further due to faster processing and additional cache for faster I/O. ActiveStor 18 delivers our lowest cost per TB when deployed with 8TB drives.


Find out more about Panasas ActiveStor 16 and 18

  • I've been in this industry a long time and I get a real sense of excitement right now from Panasas. The company's ActiveStor hybrid storage platform has always delivered impressive performance, but the last several iterations of the product have also added leading-edge reliability and manageability features to the mix that are earning it well-deserved kudos as an enterprise scale-out solution," said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst of Taneja Group. "As word gets out about how the patented DirectFlow high-performance parallel protocol significantly accelerates time-to-results for Panasas customers, offering a substantial competitive advantage over other storage systems, I'm expecting to see ActiveStor 18 gain considerable marketshare in key verticals over the next year.
    Arun Taneja, Founder & Consulting Analyst, Taneja Group


    ActiveStor eliminates the scalability and performance bottlenecks associated with legacy NAS architectures. Simply scale out the number of blade enclosures to non-disruptively increase the capacity and performance of the global file system as storage requirements grow. Parallel data access and automated load balanc¬ing ensure that performance is optimized and hot-spots are eliminated. This makes it easy to linearly scale capacity to over 20 petabytes and performance to a staggering 200GB/s or 1.75M IOPS.


    At the core of every ActiveStor solution is an intelligent per-file distributed RAID architecture implemented with erasure codes in software instead of traditional hardware RAID controllers. Data is safeguarded by RAID 6+ with triple parity protection for superior enterprise-class reliability and availability without compromising performance. By optimizing data placement, data reliability on ActiveStor actually increases with scale, rather than decreasing as would normally be expected with traditional storage systems.


    A single point of management for a single, scalable file system allows storage administrators to focus on managing data instead of their storage systems. Capacity and performance planning, mount point management, and data load balancing across multiple pools of storage are all common administration problems that are easily solved with Panasas storage. ActiveStor easily integrates into growing heterogeneous IT environments through enterprise-grade multiprotocol support for Linux, Unix, and Windows clients.


    ActiveStor appliances provide exceptional performance at an attractive price, storing large files on high capacity SATA drives while leveraging flash technology to accelerate small file and metadata performance for lightning-fast response times. This fifth-generation platform is available in two models— both ActiveStor 16 and ActiveStor 18 models combines high density with exceptional mixed workload performance (GB/s and IOPS). The ActiveStor 18 delivers greater density, more overall capacity, and lower cost per terabyte. Both models offer excellent investment protection, increased storage utilization rates, and simplified management. ActiveStor delivers a compelling total cost of ownership while meeting the needs of the most demanding industry and research organizations.

    Scale-Out NAS Architecture Integrated SSD/SATA tier: high-speed SSD drives for faster access to metadata and small files combined with cost-effective, high capacity SATA drives to provide the best price/performance.
    Optimized Price/Performance Integrated SSD/SATA tier: high-speed SSD drives for faster access to metadata and small files combined with cost-effective, high capacity SATA drives to provide the best price/performance.
    Fully Integrated Parallel File System Panasas PanFS delivers a parallel file system with a single, scalable namespace. PanFS offers a fully journaled, fully distributed, and globally coherent read/write cache and stores files as smart data objects, dynamically distributing and load balancing data transfer operations across the blade architecture.
    Scalability Scales to over 20 petabytes and up to 200GB/s or 1.75M IOPS of aggregate performance, accessed by thousands of concurrent users. Throughput and IOPS scale linearly with capacity. Automated load-balancing ensures optimal performance and eliminates hot spots.
    High Availability No single points of failure. Self-healing design protects against failures throughout the system, including disk, storage blade, director blade, and power failures. Redundant networking data paths with automatic failover.
    Advanced Data Protection and Reliability Intelligent per-file RAID optimizes reliability, based on file size and performance requirements. Data is safeguarded by sophisticated dual parity algorithms, based on separate horizontal (blade) and vertical (disk) parity protection. With ActiveStor, only damaged objects are rebuilt, not entire drives, minimizing rebuild times. More importantly, RAID constructions are performed in parallel to rapidly restore data protection in case of blade failure. This means that, unlike traditional storage systems, ActiveStor rebuilds get faster as the system grows.
    Simplified Management Single point of management via GUI or CLI. Enterprise management features include snapshots and user & group quotas. System sets up in under ten minutes. System scaling is performed without downtime.
    Protocol Support Panasas® DirectFlow®; NFS v3 (UDP or TCP); SMB 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 (CIFS); NDMP; SNMP; LDAP; ADS
    Client Support Linux®, Microsoft Windows®, UNIX®
    System SpecificationsActiveStor 16ActiveStor 18
    Max. System Capacity(1) 15.91PB 21.42PB
    Max. System Throughput (2) 200GB/s 200GB/s
    Max. System IOPS - 4KB File, Random Read(3) >1,750,000 >1,830,000
    Max. Tested Configuration - Shelves per System(1) 130 130
    Per-shelf Specifications   
    Capacity per Shelf (TB)(2) 82.4 or 122.4 82.4 or 164.8
    HDD Capacity (TB)(2) 80 or 120 80 or 160
    SSD Capacity (TB)(2) 2.4 2.4 or 4.8
    % SSD Storage 2.9% and 1.9% 2.9%
    Drive Configuration (2) 20 x 3.5" Enterprise SATA + 10 x SSD 20 x 3.5" Enterprise SATA + 10 x SSD
    ECC Memory (GB of Cache)(2) 128 208
    Max. Throughput, Write (MB/s)(2) 1600 1600
    Max. Throughput, Read (MB/s)(2) 1700 1700
    Max. IOPS(3) >13,550 >14,150
    Supported Blade Configurations (Director Blade + Storage Blade) 1+10, 2+9, or 3+8. Also 0+11 for expansion. 1+10, 2+9, or 3+8. Also 0+11 for expansion.
    Switch Modules per Shelf Two Two
    Networking Uplinks per Switch Module 1 x 10GbE SFP+/CX4 or 4 x GbE Copper 1 x 10GbE SFP+/CX4 or 4 x GbE Copper
    Additional 10GbE Networking per Director Blade 2 x 10GbE SFP+ 2 x 10GbE SFP+
    High Availability Link Aggregation with Network Failover Support Yes Yes
    InfiniBand Router Compatibility Yes Yes
    Power Supply 1093W 1+1 redundant auto-switching 100–240VAC (47–63Hz) 1093W 1+1 redundant auto-switching 100–240VAC (47–63Hz)
    Power Consumption at 208VAC, Typical/Max. In-rush/Max. 4.8A/35A/7.0A (4TB drives) 4.2A/35A/6.1A (6TB drives) 4.8A/35A/7.0A (4TB drives) 4.2A/35A/6.1A (6TB drives)
    Thermal Rating, Typical (BTU/hr) 3100 3100
    Environmentals (Operational) 50–95° F / 10–35° C, 10–90% relative humidity, non-condensing. Derating applies at altitude. 50–86° F / 10–30° C, 10–90% relative humidity, non-condensing. Derating applies at altitude.
    Max. Weight 150 lb. / 68 kg. 150 lb. / 68 kg.
    Dimensions (HxWxD) 7.0” (4U) x 19.0” x 26” / 17.78 cm x 48.26 cm x 66.04 cm 7.0” (4U) x 19.0” x 26” / 17.78 cm x 48.26 cm x 66.04 cm

    (1) No enforced limits. Max tested configuration – 130 shelves
    (2) Per shelf based on a 1+10 blade configuration
    (3) Per shelf based on a 2+9 blade configuration